"It is never okay to let your time in online communities take away from precious (irreplaceable) time from the people God has entrusted to your care." -@StickyJesus p. 109
"Online relationships will never replace the power of face-to-face fellowship with other believers." -p. 109This past week my real life and online worlds collided. While at Blissdom, I was able to meet and connect with bloggers I've long admired and those I'd just met. In fact, I was even able to meet the lovely authors of @StickyJesus: Tami Heim and Toni Birdsong. I didn't realize they were even attending until a lunch companion rushed back with what she proclaimed to be the coolest business card. Well, @StickyJesus@stickyJesus: how to live out your faith online could only refer to two ladies that I knew of so I went over to say hi. What a lovely small world moment amidst a sea of 700 bloggers!
Blogging conferences blur the rules. The time we've spent logging on developing relationships with strangers suddenly pays off when you meet face to face. You're with people who understand your time composing posts and responding to comments. It doesn't matter if your laptop is open or you Tweet from your phone during this type of conference- in fact, it's expected!
My roommate asked a bunch of us a question: how many blog posts do you read from start to finish every day? Most people said 0, which floored me. How can we expect people to read our blog if we're not reading theirs? Some day are busier than others, I know, but I believe that a good blogger is also a good blog reader.
Still, I added this question to my arsenal of things to ponder when it comes to my time online. How much time online is too much? Are the blogs I'm reading beneficial to me? Could I be spending my time another way?
Because my job can be stressful, I enjoy reading the newspaper, completing the crossword puzzle, and reading blogs after work. All three are excellent at helping me unwind. However, this takes up a lot of time and if I have evening plans, something has to be sacrificed. Add time spent composing posts for my own blog and I've realized that some fine-tuning is necessary.
I'm not giving up my blogger friends. Some of them have become real life friends and others have been incredibly encouraging over email and Twitter. To me, it's worth putting some time and energy into these relationships.
However, I can cut back on the number of blogs that I follow on a daily basis. I can be fully present when I'm with friends instead of thinking about how to caption the evening for Facebook. I can prioritize the projects I need to tend to and let blogging take a back seat for awhile.
There's a balance between my life and my blogging. @StickyJesus is helping me figure that balance out.
This post was written for the @StickyJesus Read-Along hosted by Michelle Sarabia.
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